...here we go...
Funship 2.0 Carnnival Liberty Review
A couple notes first off: In the last few years, I’ve taken up photography as a hobby. This review is really my first real photography trip experience. My goal is to give you, the reader a unique perspective on both the ship and the ports-of-call. I used 2 cameras for most of the pictures you will see here: a Nikon D7000 body with a Tamron 18-270 lens, as well as an Olympus 1030SW waterproof point-and-shoot camera. I really hope you like the pictures, as I spent both sea-days doing nothing but roaming around the ship taking pictures and people watching. I hope you get a unique and enjoyable perspective on the cruise vacation.
I’ll throw in some side notes throughout this review that I hope aren’t too annoying. One of these is that I learned early and often to make friends with the Carnival employees. More than once we benefited from just being friendly and talking about thier day with them. More on those times later.
With that out of the way, let’s begin!
My wife (Taren) and I (Chris) wanted to take our first *real* vacation since we have had kids. Our kids are 10, 8 and 3. We like the prices and the time of year fit very well for this cruise. We ended up booking the Liberty on the 11.26.11 Cruise - a Lido balcony on the port side, room 9268.
We decided to leave a day early as we didn’t want any potential travel problems get in the way of our cruise. We left the house at about 8:30am on Black Friday on our way to Kansas City (MCI). We stopped at Cabelas on the way to get me a new pair of tennis shoes (my old/new ones I just bought were “waterproof” and felt like wearing plastic sacks after a couple hours...YUCK)
We got to the airport and parked in economy parking ($6 per day) and, although I wouldn’t find out about this for a week, I left my radar detector turned on as we locked up the truck and headed to the terminal (more on that at the end of the trip).
We were flying Contenintal. Checkin was very easy, we checked 2 bags - side note - we mixed our clothes between bags, just in case one was lost - and after an hour or so we boarded our matchbox on our way to Houston (IAH). Watched “Hall Pass” on my iPad during the trip. The flight was uneventful except for some turbulence and the pilot dropping the plane out of the sky about 20’ above the runway at landing. Scared the heck out of my wife (ok, I’ll admit, me too) - and I told her not to worry, It’s the younger, “unpaid dues” pilots who get to work the holidays - we don’t get the more experienced ones. I have no idea if it was true or not, but I like giving her fits sometimes.
Arrived in Houston, grabbed some Schlotzkys sandwiches and walked 3 miles to the next terminal (not quite, but it felt like it). While we were waiting on our plane, I got a text message from our Driver with SAS transportation. He just wanted us to know we were on his list, and he would contact us when we landed in FLL. The plane finally arrived, and it was hardly a matchbox, but a Boeing 757 heading to FLL. This flight was uneventful. We watched “Bridesmaids” on her iPad and the flight literally flew by.
Got into FLL about 7:30pm. As we were exiting the plane, SAS (Richard I think) called and said he saw our plane landed, and as soon as we got our luggage to give him a call. Took Continental a while to get the luggage off the plane, and he called once more during that wait. As soon as we got it, we walked outside and called him. He told us to stand basically where we were, and 30 seconds later he pulled up and put our luggage in the van. He also picked up another Cruise Critic family that we didn’t know at the time, but we found out during the drive to Miami that they were also on our roll call, Gwen & Chris (aka smitty89)! Awesome...30 minutes in and we’ve already met one family on our roll call!
SAS transportation is AWESOME. Very fast, friendly and organized. Richard also kind of gave us a tour on the way, pointing out all the stuff on the way. I could not recommend SAS enough to anyone traveling from FLL to Miami Hotels or POM. **Note: They cannot pick up from anywhere in Miami except POM due to city/county restrictions. They can deliver you to Miami hotels/POM from FLL though.
OK, so after dropping off Gwen and her family (other CC members), he took us to our hotel, the Doubletree Biscayne Bay which overlooks the POM across the bay. Upon checkin, we were told that we were given a complimentary upgrade to a one-bedroom condo. SWEET. The room was awesome! Surround Sound, Flat Screen, Kitchen, 2 bathrooms and a BIDET. Ok, we’re not in Kansas anymore. DirecTV receivers on both TVs and Wireless Internet in the room. The views from our balcony were awesome.
...the living room...
...and the living room from the other side...
We were hungry, so we went to the Bleu Moon Bar and Grille inside the hotel complex. I had the chicken wings and my wife had the nachos. The chicken wings were just fried chicken with dipping sauce on the side - a little different than what I’m used to. But it was good. My wife’s Nachos were very good. We both got BIG Blue Moon beers that were wonderful after a long day of traveling.
The bed was comfortable and we slept well, but we got up early and got our first view of the Liberty across the bay (sorry forgot to get a picture).
My Funship 2.0 (Liberty) review w/Pics